With the crazy year we’ve had, we might think the top prescribed drugs of 2020 are ones that combat coronavirus or help with its symptoms. In reality, the top 20 drugs this past year are related to a variety of health concerns such as chronic conditions, autoimmune diseases, and even cancer.
In this list of 20 drugs, nearly half are used to treat chronic conditions like Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, or chronic arthritis. These conditions are generally characterized as autoimmune, genetic, or chronic. Seven of the 20 drugs on this list are used to treat different cancers and four are used to treat infections or heart disease. It is very clear that American’s struggle with preventing diseases. Additionally, the public is not encouraged to use alternatives to taking medications even though medications often have devastating side effects.
The number one drug sold in 2020 was Humira, which is used to treat Crohn’s disease and a few other autoimmune diseases and falls under the classification of immune suppressing drugs. The common side effects of Humira are upper respiratory infection, headaches, rash, nausea, and back pain, to name a few. This drug works by suppressing the physiological response to TNF (tumor necrosis factor) in the body; TNF is produced by the immune system when it perceives an immune threat such as a foreign substance that enters the body. TNF then signals other parts of the immune system to do their jobs.
Using a drug to suppress the immune system should be cause for concern; we need our immune system to work as intended in order to protect our bodies. So, what if a drug was not needed to treat a disease or suppress inflammatory responses? There are many alternative therapies to taking a prescription drug, like a diet change and taking targeted supplements. These therapies have been found to easily put patients in remission and greatly reduce misdirected inflammatory responses from little to potentially none. Furthermore, food and supplements rarely have devastating side effects.
Crohn’s is a great example of a serious condition that can be treated with alternative therapies. Heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, and even some genetic disorders can be greatly helped or minimized with changes in lifestyle and other therapies. The top 20 drugs of 2020 do little to cure or eliminate a person’s chronic conditions. This is why it’s important to know that other options are available. Food can be a great healing therapy that doesn’t need a prescription.
For more information or assistance with finding foods and nutrients to optimize immune function, contact your health care provider or dietitian.